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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


Park ’n’ rides to plug and drives: King County moves forward on electric vehicle charging station program

Summary

In a move aimed at improving regional air quality and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the Metropolitan King County Council today adopted an ordinance championed by County Executive Dow Constantine that formally establishes policies for the county’s electric vehicle charging station demonstration program. The Executive thanked the council for their leadership and support for the project.

Story

In a move aimed at improving regional air quality and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the Metropolitan King County Council today adopted an ordinance championed by County Executive Dow Constantine that formally establishes policies for the county’s electric vehicle charging station demonstration program. The Executive thanked the council for their leadership and support for the project.

“Electric-powered vehicles can help our region cut global greenhouse-gas emissions while keeping our local skies clean and healthy,” said Executive Constantine. “I am proud that King County is leading the way toward a cleaner energy future.”

“Electric vehicles are a big part of our future, but they can only operate here if charging infrastructure is in place in our communities,” said Councilmember Larry Phillips, who participated in a demonstration of electric vehicle technology for King County. “It’s exciting that King County is able to provide charging stations throughout the region, helping us transition to environmentally friendly electric cars. By establishing the policy framework for electric vehicles and seeking out grants, King County is once again ahead of the curve in protecting the environment and creating livable communities.”

The new ordinance approves a program to install charging stations at county-owned or leased facilities. Metro Transit has already installed 39 charging stations at selected transit centers and park-and-ride lots, and the county is working with other area agencies and the private sector to identify additional potential sites for electric charging stations.

The ordinance approved today sets policies for access and cost recovery for users of the electric charging stations. County vanpools, commuters using park-and-rides, and employees driving county vehicles will have priority access. Unused stations will be available for use by the public.

In addition to establishing program policies, the ordinance defines rules for recovering the costs of operating the program through user fees. The charging stations will charge a fee to privately owned vehicles using county-owned charging stations at a rate that will recover 100 percent of the operating costs.

King County has partnered with Nissan USA and eTec, a private manufacturer of charging stations, to prepare the region for the deployment of the next generation of electric vehicles. Nissan plans to introduce approximately 1,000 of its new Leaf electric vehicles in the region late this year. King County’s charging stations will be provided by eTec, which will be investing approximately $20 million in the region to install charging stations that will serve the next generation of electric vehicles.

Chevrolet and Ford also have plans to release plug-in electric vehicles over the next few years.

King County will receive more than $1 million in grant funds from various sources for installing charging stations. These funds include:

  • $700,000 from a federal Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant
  • A King County-targeted portion of a $700,000 grant to our region through the Clean Cities Association.
  • A portion of a $20 million grant awarded to eTec to provide a limited number of free charging stations to public and private purchasers of a Nissan Leaf.

The ordinance also calls for a Council evaluation of the program in three years based on affordability, usage of the charging stations, cost recovery and public benefit.



Plug and Ride electric vehicle project
King County Executive
Dow Constantine
Dow constantine portrait

Read the Executive's biography